Can Minerals Help You Lower Your Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is difficult to detect. In the beginning there are no symptoms. But if nothing is done the risk of serious health problems later on the life increases dramatically. Hypertension is an equal-opportunity disease, it can strike anyone, often without warning.
There are a lot of myths about hypertension, its causes and possible remedies. Although medical science does not know why most cases of hypertension occur, a number of risk factors have been identified. The most common are overweight, inactivity, poor diet, stress and alcohol.
A lot of remedies have been tested, only a few have proven to be efficient. Sometimes, minerals are mentioned as a way of curing or at least controlling blood pressure. Especially potassium, calcium and magnesium are often said to be helpful while sodium must be avoided.
Research has shown low levels of magnesium to be associated with higher blood pressure. But studies have not been able to confirm that magnesium will prevent hypertension. On the other hand, magnesium has many other health benefits and is considered to be important for overall good health. Green vegetables, nuts and seeds are good sources of magnesium.
Studies suggest that calcium can lower blood pressure but only to a limited extent. Like magnesium, calcium has many other health benefits and is considered important for overall good health. Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese are good sources of calcium.
Research indicates that potassium can, to some extent, help to prevent and control hypertension. Potassium seems to be more efficient than magnesium and calcium. Good sources of potassium are fruits (especially bananas, figs and raisins), orange juice, vegetables (especially potatoes and garlic) and whole grains. Note that taking too much potassium may have some risks so consult your doctor before you start taking supplements containing potassium.
Cutting down on sodium is considered as one of the best ways of lowering your blood pressure. Sodium is one of the chemicals in salt. One unit of sodium is equal to two-and-a-half units of salt. Most of the salt we eat is not what we add to cooking or at the table. More than 75% of the salt we consume is in prepared foods. Check food labels to see how much salt the food contains. Some labels may not say how much salt the food contains, but they may say how much sodium it contains.
While minerals can help you combat hypertension, for most people additional steps are needed to get good results. This generally means more physical activity, better diet and reducing stress.